Famous during the 1980s for her Jani Allan's Week and Just Jani columns in the South African newspaper The Sunday Times, Allan later wrote for Scope magazine and hosted a popular CapeTalk radio program.
Before launching her career in journalism, she studied at the University of the Witwatersrand.
She became the subject of much media attention after it was alleged that she had been involved in an affair with white supremacist leader and South African politician Eugene Terre'Blanche. She denied the stories and sued for libel, but not before a bomb was detonated in her apartment.
Her first marriage, to businessman Gordon Schachat, ended in the mid-1980s. Two decades later, she was briefly married to Dr. Peter Kulish.
She penned a viral, highly condemnatory, open letter to amputee and Olympian Oscar Pistorius after Pistorius was put on trial for the death of his girlfriend.